"Thrilling" exhibit comes to MHS Gallery 2000
"Thrilling Adventure", the opening exhibit for the 2012-13 school year at the MHS Gallery 2000 includes paintings, prints and sketches by illustrator, comic book and video game artist Jeff Butler.
The exhibit opens Sept. 10 and runs until Oct. 5. A reception will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Butler, a Madison College professor, grew up in Madison. His father was a sportswriter.
"The heroes of my youth weren't athletes,'' he said. "I was steeped in the pop culture of the era: Toys, cartoons, comic books, science fiction, fantasy. These things were more than pastimes. ... They were passions that fired my imagination and provided a colorful escape from the confusing political and social upheaval occurring in the Madison of my youth. I looked upon the people who created these pop culture treasures with wonder and awe.
My heroes were artists. ... Most of these wonderfully creative people worked their entire careers in relative obscurity, while others eventually gained some measure of notoriety. Many toiled at drawing boards for hours on end, drawing dynamic and colorful adventures of impossibly-powered heroes who flew through the sky, or ran at super-sonic speed, or swung on a web or a rope from skyscraper to skyscraper. My other heroes painted cover illustrations for the paperback books you could buy at the newsstand or corner store for 50 cents. These wonderful paintings illuminated the characters and their stories and further fueled the imaginations of kids like me. At an early age, I decided I wanted to be like my heroes.''
He calls the gallery show a "travel log" of his journey so far.
Butler has been working professionally for more than 30 years. He broke into the comic field in the early 1980s, helping writer Mike Baron create The Badger for Capital Comics. He spent five years in the art department of TSR, Inc., the creators of Dungeons & Dragons. At TSR, he illustrated many D&D and DragonLance game products and was also the primary artist for the Marvel Superheroes Role Playing Game.
In 1989, he teamed with writer Ron Fortier to bring The Green Hornet back to comic books. Butler would go on to illustrate other comics: The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Hercules and Xena, Charles Barkley vs. Godzilla, Jason vs. Leatherface.
His art has been featured nationally in TV Guide and The Children's Television Workshop magazines. For the past 14 years, Butler has applied his talents in the video game industry as a 2D and 3D character designer and concept artist. He was the lead character artist for games like X-Men Legends I & II and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. He has worked on 12 AAA video games, most recently: Marvel Origins: Wolverine and Singularity.